West Virginia minus one week

After yesterday’s North Carolina landslide and Indiana cliffhanger, most commentators have upgraded Barack Obama’s chances of securing the Democratic nomination from likely to (almost) certain. The next stage in the contest, assuming it gets that far, is next week’s primary for West Virginia, at which 28 delegates will be elected through a “modified” primary open to independents and registered Democrats.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,481 comments on “West Virginia minus one week”

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  1. I think Obama has no choice but to convince Clinton to be his VP running mate. He runs the serious risk of much of the Democratic voter base either not voting or deciding to vote for McCain out of fear or loathing.

    Specifically I refer to blue collar workers, older people, hispanics and women.

    Obama and Clinton would be the odd couple and their mutual contempt is there for all to see. But I suspect they need each other. If Obama loses the presidential vote, and Clinton isn’t his VP running mate, then his support base will blame her for the spoiling tactics used in the nomination process. Clinton will then be doomed in 2012.

    At least as a VP candidate Clinton can gloat that she was loyal to the Democratic party. This gives her much goodwill for a crack in 2012 if Obama loses, and if he wins she can proclaim herself as the experienced heir apparent in 4 or 8 years.

  2. Sceptic,
    I understand the ‘Clinton for VP’ rationale, but I think it lacks credibility. Moreover, it would seriously damage Obama’s credibility as the ‘New Politics’ guy. Clinton has too much baggage (as does their relationship) from the past for this to be a credible option.

    Clinton’s appearance on the ticket would give the GOP increased capacity to capitalise on her high negative ratings and to bring out the anti-Hillary crowd.

    Besides, I’m not convinced by the straw polls showing a high percentage of Hillary voters won’t support Obama. This figure will shrink dramatically once the nomination process is finalised.

    In short, Obama doesn’t NEED Hillary – other than for her to go quietly away.

  3. Obama’s strategists now have to think to November. With regard to Hillary I just don’t see a payoff. On the plus side she may draw some redneck vote. Women (who have overwhelmingly been her base) will vote Democratic anyway.

    Against this, her presence on a ticket gives Republicans a field day. All of her lines can just be regurgitated : ‘Obama brings a speech he made in 2002’ he hasn’t crossed the ‘Commander in Chief threshold’ he’s unelectable, he has no respect for working people…and then a scary voice at the end claiming that if the VP thinks these things…

    I just don’t see it.

  4. The Obama speech – beautifully crafted across so many themes: his upbringing, his white & black ancestry, fairness in opportunity & education & more.

    How about the idea: it is not about me, or the other candidates – it is about the people. Cool stuff – this seems to tap into the idea that many people think that Clinton is in this race for herself – for her place in history.

    Looks like Obama is cleverly inviting people to reflect on the idea that Clinton isn’t important in the scheme of things and there are much bigger fish to fry down the track.

  5. Wouldn’t Obama be looking for a looking for a fresh faced (clean skin) old white guy for VP? If such a being exists?

  6. I thought people were suggesting Bill Richardson for VP

    Would that work? The obvious purpose being to bring out the Latino vote.

  7. Maybe Obama would look at a white female Governor. Preferably conservative by Democrat standards.

    Is there anybody that stands out as a potential VP?

  8. The VP needs to be a balancing act to round out his perceived weaknesses. He’ll be looking for someone with broad appeal, governance experience and lunchbucket cred.

  9. David Brooks quotes Gingrich:

    Traditional Republicans can beat liberal Democrats when the Republican brand is in healthy shape. That is not the case now. Newt Gingrich made the crucial point in an essay in Human Events:

    The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti- Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.
    This model has already been tested with disastrous results.
    In 2006, there were six incumbent Republican Senators who had plenty of money, the advantage of incumbency, and traditionally successful consultants.
    But the voters in all six states had adopted a simple position: “Not you.” No matter what the G.O.P. Senators attacked their opponents with, the voters shrugged off the attacks and returned to, “Not you.”
    The danger for House and Senate Republicans in 2008 is that the voters will say, “Not the Republicans.”

    The upshot is that McCain will have no choice but to run an untraditional campaign. Anything that smacks of traditional Republican tactics or philosophy will go down in flames.

    NYT

  10. FINNS
    ‘Obama supporters one handed clapping’ , a classic

    George McGovern gives Obama support joyously say the Obamabots
    In fact George went further , he said ‘ I dont think she Hillary can win’

    George would know , as 1972 Democrat Nominee he lost 48 out of 50 States !
    But then George was another N.E Democrat ‘liberal’ elitist snob like Obama , the fatal attraction of the politically correct views set here.

    Meanwhile , hillary declares she will fight on until there is a Nominee. And the Nominee must have 2209 delegates not 2025 say Team Hillary. Obama is well short of 2209 so there is a long fight to go.

    The Hillary aids correctly say the Florida & Michigan exclusion using DNC Rules breachs the US Constitution & prior Supreme Court Constutionality rules cases have been successful especially because all 23 States on Super Tuesday were allowed to change their previous Primary election dates without penalty. Obama’s actual campaigning in both States defying DNC Rules aids all arguments

    Meanwhile a Hispanic American is planning for 2012 to replicate the plastic Obama technique of pressuring SD’s under threat the Hispanic block also like SD Obama’s story will forever desert the Democrats. Obama has changed US politics alright , use racial equality & entitlement to gain SD votes with a threat rather than merit , and as for electability & policys you don’t need them. No wonder the SD’s are backing Obama , but the Hispanics are quick learners in ‘content free’ US of A.. Martin Luther King would be disguted with Obama. But Hillary will not budge unless the numbers are not there, she’s carrying MLK’s torch ‘I have a dream’ of equality based on merit not race.

  11. This gives her much goodwill for a crack in 2012 if Obama loses,

    Hillary Clinto will be 68 in 2012, getting a bit old for a first term president.

    I can’t see Clinton winning the nomination from here, and the chances of Obama picking her as running mate are slim, at best, it is contrary to the underlying message of his campaign, that of change and renewal. It is also too risky to have such a dominant personality for VP, particularly one who was a fierce former opponent, the friction would be endless and could easily destroy Obama’s presidency.

  12. 55
    Ferny Grover

    What will be written on her death certificate, do you think?

    Maybe:

    Death by hundreds of thousands of cuts.(popular votes)
    Death by asphyxiation (severe shortage of cash)
    Death by Super Defection Syndrome (chronic)
    Death by Dynastic Fatigue Syndrome (over it!)
    Death by Foot in Mouth (aka Bosnia-itis)
    Death by Limp Rhetoric

    Signed

    Dr B H Obama

  13. “Heavenly shades of night are falling……it’s twilight time”
    (William “call me Billy” Thorpe)

    IAS bet:
    2008 Democratic Candidate
    B Obama 1.10
    H Clinton 7.00

    2008 Winning Party
    Democratic Party 1.53
    Republican Party 2.50

    For Slate first timers, watch the ship for a few seconds for full effect a la Ferny at 55.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2190876/

  14. Ron,

    After reading through your affirmation that

    The Hillary aids correctly say the Florida & Michigan exclusion using DNC Rules breachs the US Constitution & prior Supreme Court Constutionality rules cases have been successful especially because all 23 States on Super Tuesday were allowed to change their previous Primary election dates without penalty.

    I suggest you familiarise yourself with Democratic v Wisconsin (1981) which upheld the principle from Cousins v Wigoda (1974) that

    Wisconsin cannot constitutionally compel the National Party to seat a delegation chosen in a way that violates the Party’s rules.

    The whole charade has gone through the Supreme Court before and been rejected, and there are substantial precedents to dismiss any legal case.

  15. FG – it’s not even that fun to kick that ostrich in the arse fro gross stupidity anymore. Although funnily enough, I think the ‘bot’ tag is starting to make sense. Just that it is a certifiable Hillbot in existence rather than the other kind we hear so much about.

  16. “It may be true that Hillary Clinton is the only acceptable candidate to some narrow income group of Caucasians that reside between the Mississipi river and the states bordering the East coast. But, MY GOD, who cares? It is Hillary Clinton’s utter lack of ability to be competitive among white voters in Western states that resulted in Obama breaking the proportional allocation system, and making narrow Clinton wins in states that satisfy the Penn/Wolfsson criteria insignificant.”
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/5/7/201747/8536/189/511380

  17. Obama/Edwards for 2007 Presidential Election: that’d blow the shit out of the Republicans.
    Alternatively, Obama/Gore

  18. Cheers PBers-
    just got back from 2 days of no media/ internet etc, to read the good news. Haven’t had a chance to review the blow by blow posts yet( looking forward to it though), but just want to say that by all accounts it’s time for the final decision to name the candidate. How close are we to an SD’s trickle turning into an avalanche??

  19. Obama and Edwards together would be seen as far too ‘liberal’ by the electorate. As for Obama/Gore – quite apart from the fact that he’s moved on with his life to become the environmental statesman – he wasn’t that hot a VP. The guy didn’t grow a personality till he left office – which is a shame.

    ‘Balance’ is the key word.

  20. I wonder if Obama will choose a woman to run with. There must be some high-calibre female governors to choose from. That would seal the result imho.

  21. The choice will be between the leadershp of the 1970’s and 2010’s….the Republicans and the Fading Past or the Democrats and Renewed Future.

  22. Has anyone else noticed the “Barack Obama for President”, “VISIT THE OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN WEBSITE” ad on Politico?

    Sign o’ the times.

    Finns, is that the sound of one hand clapping you hear, or the sound of your tree falling in the woods.

  23. That’s the one Pancho. 😀

    It got moderated. Was going to say zionists aren’t as offended as KKK by Wright. But it didn’t quite come out that way. LOL.

  24. 77
    TurningWorm

    AIPAC will not be pleased that their co-religionists are NOT falling in behind their preferred neocon! LOL

    But the KKK, well, yes, they might not be voting for Obama, that could be true.

  25. 94
    Ferny Grover

    Thanks for the Rush, but it could have been bigger!

    Poor Hill, beholden to that motor-mouth for her ‘comeback’. What a tacky last act this is turning into.

    Clintons don’t do pride, do they?

  26. Seem not KR:

    “I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-05-07-clintoninterview_N.htm

    Unless working = hard working = white.

  27. 97
    Pancho

    honey, I got the poor dumb white ones, and he’s got the black ones.

    This is America, so lots more poor white dumb ones.

    I win.

    …ain’t she a class act?

    Next it will be the “N” option: she’s going to call him ‘nigga’! LOL

    She’s all but doing it now. I wonder how the white voters who preferred Obama are going to see her comments?

    Nothing surprises me anymore, so expect more nasty little Hillary who didn’t earn the election to get a bit nastier before her final gasp.

  28. “If she does concede defeat, the question: “What does Hillary want?”, should have some fairly obvious answers”

    ………from the Dan Conley link in polwire. There is a way, Bludgers, Democratic Party adults have done this stuff before when they did that filthy, lying, Contra-lovin’ degenerate Ollie North in as he lunged for the US Senate and failed because Dems played Team Politics.
    The thing is, will Senator Sparkle Pony be prepared to join the rodeo that ‘made’ her.

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/05/07/a_negotiated_exit_strategy.html

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